Jul 10, 2015

El Jeffe Amberweissen

El Jeffe Amber Weissen

1.054 - 1.009
21 IBU
5.9% ABV

Take Off, You Gose
1.043 - 1.007
16 IBU
4.7% ABV

The Thing:
Second 15-gal brew. All one wort (target 1.049). Last four gallons to be diluted with a gallon of water for close to 1.039. Small beer to get smoked sea salt (or other variety) and lactic acid. May also get some citrus peel, though I think the flavor may clash with sourness -- may opt for coriander or something else. 

The Malts:
10# Malted Wheat
15# Vienna Malt
4# Flaked Wheat

1.5oz Centennial (9.1% AA)

Other Ingredients (Small Beer Only):
Indian Coriander (.5oz boiled for 10 min)
Pink Himalayan Salt (around .75oz)
Lactic Acid (5ml per Gallon)

Wyeast 3068 (10 gal)
US-04 (5 gal)

The Mash: Here's the plan: Initial protein rest will be at 122 degrees. After twenty minutes, I will pull a large (nearly half of the mash) decoction and heat it to 155. I will hold it there with a lid and a sleeping bag for about fifteen minutes before bringing to a boil. At that point I will add the decoction to the main mash until the saccrification temperature of 146. This rest will be held for one hour, before mash-out (around 168).

  • 122 - 20 min
  • Decoction 155 - 15 min then boil
  • Return decoction to 149 -- 45 min (should not have added the entire decoction - was aiming for 146. Changed time from 30 to 45 min
  • 154 - 20 min
  • 166 - 15 min
  • Mash out - 170

Brewday Reflections:

  • Decoction was a little too much, and I should not have added the entire thing back to the mash. This raised the temp to around 172. I got it back down to 149 by adding water.
  • I added a 166 rest to allow the mash to circulate more since it did not circulate during the 149 rest since it was warmer than I wanted.
  • Added an additional 15 minutes to the boil since it did not seem as though I was boiling off enough.
  • Efficiency higher than calculated = 16.5 gallons of 1.054 wort, rather than 16 gallons of 1.049 wort.


Fermentation has been vigorous, especially the 3068.
Fermentation started around 63 degrees. Allowed to climb to 65-70 degrees.

May 22, 2015

toxic avenger / angel piss

The Toxic Avenger

1.087 - 1.023
98 IBU
8.3% ABV

Angel Piss

1.034 - 1.005
32 IBU
3.8% ABV


Total Grain Bill:
25 lbs Marris Otter
1 lb CaraMunich 40L
1 lb 60L Crystal
1.25 lbs Honey (piss only)

Hops (small beer):

1 oz Centennial (9% AA) - 60 min
1 oz Centennial (9% AA) - 15 min
1 oz Galaxy (15% AA) - 0 min
1.5 oz Galaxy - Dry 7 days

Hops (strong beer):
1 oz Centennial (9% AA) -- FWH
1 oz Centennial (9% AA) -- 60 min
2 oz Zythos (10.9% AA) -- 60 min
5 Simcoe (13.8% AA) - 60 min
1 oz Zythos (10.9% AA) -- 20 min
1 oz Galaxy (15% AA) -- 15 min
1 oz Centennial (9% AA) - 5 min
1 oz Galaxy (15% AA) -- 5 min
1 oz Zythos (10.9% AA) -- 5 min
2 oz Zythos (10.9% AA) - 0 min
2 oz Galaxy (15% AA) - 0 min
2 oz Centennial (9% AA) - 0 min
1oz Galaxy - Dry 7 days
1oz Zythos - Dry 7 days
1oz Centennial - Dry 7 days


9 gallons strike water

Mashed @ 154
Fermentation Temp - around 62


6.9.15 -- Checkd gravit of both beers (1.023 and 1.005). Small beer is tasting very good with a surprising presence from the honey. The only concern is that it is too dry and may be perceived as watery (again  honey). Big beer is rowdy and bitter -- I suppose that was the point. I am thinking this one may still have a couple points to drop, so I am going to leave it at around 70 degrees for another week or so before dry hopping.

I am thinking of the following for dry hopping:

Big Beer - One ounce each of Zythos, Centennial, and Galaxy
Small Beer - 1.5 oz of Galaxy

I conducted anIPA Study over the course of two days. I am not sure where this influenced my practice.

: 5.8.15

Straight to ale Monkeynaut:

Aroma is of orangesand mangoes with just a hint of Piney resin very pleasant and desirable. This this is good as a medium or bass note, but we do use something else for Crispness and brightness at the end smells very good tastes very good but isn't very bright. Pineapples.
Finish is piney, but not thick and resiny.

Jekyll Hop Dang Diggity:

More piney - earthy aroma. Bright finish. Crisp. Beer is more drinkable, but more due to grainbill. Hope are lighter and crisper, more pine flavor.

Weyerbacher last chance ipa:

Dank. Some fruit, but they seem more like the base levels of pineapple. Finish has good crispness but not much mid range here. Having less of the mid range could make a beer more drinkable, I would want a little more than what it is here overall hot profile is very good just wanting more in the middle. I bet this is Columbus.

Day two:

Ballast point Dorado

Big Pine like aroma. Heavy Pine and resin flavor, mixed with the alcoholic nature of this beer 10% it is almost medicinal in quality.

The aroma is orange pineapple and mango in nature yet slightly faint, especially for a double I P a.

This is not the hop character I am looking for.

Westbrook ipa

Sweet grass / lime aroma
This is the type of aroma is what I want, but perhaps a little dif.

Mid-range bitterness is good

I like this a lot.
I would make the aroma more fruity and pronounced.

Look at your recipe draft and back off ibus then add those hops later and dry.

21st amendment brew free or die.

Quite bitter, but not as much flavor and aroma as I would like.
A tad soapy. Very traditional west coast

Mar 28, 2015

Mordecai Brown

Mordecai Brown Ale
1.060 - 1.015
75 IBU
5.9% ABV

The Malts: 26.5 lbs

14 lbs Maris Otter
7 lbs Light Munich Malt
2 lbs Brown Malt
1 lb Carafoam
1 lb 60L Crystal Malt
.5 lb 40L Crystal Malt
.5 lb 80L Crystal Malt
.5 lb 120L Crystal Malt

The Hops:

1 oz Magnum (14.2% AA) - 60 min
1.5oz Centennial (9%AA) -- 30 min
1.5oz Simcoe (13.1%AA) - 20 min
1.5oz Centennial (9%AA) - 15 min
.5 oz Simcoe (13.1%AA) -- 15 min
1 oz Zythos (10.9%AA) - 10 min
1 oz Simcoe (13.1%AA) - 10 min


8.8 gallons Strike water
Mash = 154 degrees

Brewday Notes and Reflections:

First Runnings: 1.085
Preboil - 1.054
O.G. -- 1.060

Gravity was a bit lower than planned because I did not boil off enough. This seems to happen frequently. I should always have the burner turned all the way up. I ended up with 12 gallons of 1.069 instead of the 11 gallons of 1.069 I planed for.

Feb 20, 2015

Another Pegasus

1.043 - 1.011
34 IBU
4.2% ABV

The Malts:

12 lbs Rahr Two Row
6 lbs Flaked Wheat

The Hops:

.5 oz Simcoe (13.8% AA) - 75 min
.75 oz Mosaic (11.6% AA) - 15 min
1 oz Simcoe (13,8% AA) - 10 min
2 oz Simcoe ( 13.8% AA) - 0 min
2 oz Mosaic (11.6% AA) - 0 min


S-04 Dry Yeast (one fermenter)
Mangrove Jack's Newcastle Dark Ale M03 (the other fermenter)


6 gallons strike water

Target Mash Temp - 155
Strike Temp 168 - 65 / 167 / 70

Brewday Notes and Reflections:

First Runnings 1.068
Preboil - 1.035

A rather easy brewday where all my equipment worked the way it should with the only exception being the HopBlocker (which could be attributed to me). This was the first time I added whole hops to the kettle, and the bulkhead got a little clogged with hops.

Though I used two different yeasts, both fermenters finished @ 1.011.

Nov 3, 2014

Bloody Hell to Pay

Bloody Hell to Pay

1.052 - 1.005
6.2% ABV
56 IBU

The Fermentables:

15 lbs Marris Otter
2 lbs Toasted Oats
2 lbs Carastan
.5 lb Speacial Roast
3 oz Chocolate Wheat

The Hops:

1 oz EKG (7.2% AA) - 60 min
.5 oz Willamette (4.7% AA) - 30 min
.5 oz EKG (7.2% AA) - 30 min


1275 from washed cultures (3qts starter each (decanted))


6.5 gallons strike water (made for a thick mash with oats)

Brewday notes and reflections:

First, one of the connectors for the thermometers is broken, so I had to switch the remaining one back and forth, which was a pain in the ass. This, coupled with the thick mash with oats, made maintaining a constant mash temperature more difficult than it should have been. We'll call it 155-156 for an hour.

Then the other wire fails. Close to an hour later and a few calls to the manufacturer, I decide to go old school. The problem is that the largest pot I have left is 6 gal, so I start by draining six gallons of wort into the pot, and about 4.5 more into a keg. At first I think making two different beers is the way, but after I had already begun boiling and hopping the first beer, I realize that I have to get it all into the large electric boil pot to drain through the pump and chiller to sanitize those. Thankfully the first boil got it to around 180.

I now have to make my second beer similar to the first in IBUs, though I have different amounts of hops:

Beer One:
.75oz EKG 7.2 - 60
.5oz Will 4.7 - 30
.5oz EKG 7.2 - 30
1oz Fugg 4.3 - 15
1oz EKG 7.2 - 15

Beer Two:
.75oz EKG 7.2 - 60
1oz Fugg 4.3 - 30
.5oz EKG - 7.2 - 15

Ended up with about 8 gallons in all. One keg fermenter only half full.

Finished much lower than I wanted or expected. Initially beer tasted a little thin. This may be because of this being 2nd generation of this yeast. Had similar results with Floyd the Barber (1.051 - 1.006).

Added 1.5 oz med toast French oak chips ( which I fear may have been too much) to the keg that was about half full for one week. Hooked the plain one up first in hopes of some of that oak flavor mellowing a bit.

Aug 30, 2014

Kattenstoet / Figgy Pudding


1.057 - 1.000
7.4% ABV
48 IBU

Figgy Pudding

1.066 - 1.001
8.5% ABV
48 IBU

11 lbs American 2-row
8 lbs Flaked Wheat
2 lbs CaraVienne

Mash Schedule
30 min @ 122
60 min @ 152
5 min @ 168

3 lbs D-45 Candi Syrup
1 lb honey (Figgy Only 10 Minutes)

4 lbs 14.25 oz Figs (Pureed) (Figgy Only 10 minutes)

All Mosaic (11.6% AA)
60 min - 1 oz
15 min - 1 oz
10 min - 1 oz
05 min - 1 oz
00 min - 1 oz

3711 French Saison (2nd gen)
3 qt starter (each) (decanted)

Brewday Notes and Reflections

First runnings 1.079.
Pre-boil gravity 1.042.
Final gravity first beer: 1.057.
Final gravity second beer: 1.066.

Fix for boiled/reduced in about 3 quarts of worked added the honey in for the last 10 minutes. Figs and work boiled for about 25 minutes altogether.

It should be noted that I am not adding the candy sugar until later in the boil.

Little bit of trouble at the beginning the electronic brewery controller does not seem to work like it's supposed to on the hot liquor tank side after I figured out how to wing it things went pretty smoothly.


9.1.14 -- Pitched yeast into both beers after they were well chilled.
10.13.14 -- Bottled Figgy Pudding with 9oz dextrose -- about 4.25 Volumes

Jul 5, 2014

The Illustrious Merkin Gherkin

One-Hundredth Post on The Merkinpatch

The Illustrious Merkin Gherkin

1.045 - 1.001
15.5 IBU

Merkin Splendor

1.045 - 1.001
15.5 IBU

19lbs Belgian Pilsner


1.5 oz Willamette %AA-- 60 min


The Illustrious Merkin Gherkin: Wyeast 3711 (second gen (washed))

Merkin Splendor: Culture of Wyeast 1275 (second gen (washed)), sludge from primary fermentation of Temptation Toad, dregs of two bottles of Orval


19lbs grain = 6.333 gallons strike water

Adjuncts and Additives
(I can't believe I did not write this down, but I think it was near 2)lbs Diva Cucumbers from Dogwood Farm added second week of primary fermentation
35 mL 88%Lactic Acid (5 ml / G)

Mash Schedule
30 min @ 122
60 min @ 152
5 min @ 168

Brewday Notes and Reflections

Mashed in at 8:35 AM.
First runnings 1.078.
Pre-boil gravity 1.035.
Final gravity 1.045.
Finished cleaning at 3:30 PM.


7.9.14 - pitched yeast both beers. Activity in Merkin Splendor very quick (maybe because I can see it (glass)). Ambient around 70 degrees (both).
7.14.14 - Merkin Gherkin has been naturally climbing in temperature -- hanging in at around 80.
7.23.14 - Gravity 1.001. Cucumber flavor is a bit more vegetal than I thought it would be. Adding lactic acid and kegging.

Merkin Splendor Notes
8.2014 - Gravity reads 1.001. Racked to secondary with 1oz Medium toast Hungarian oak chips. This is a departure from my normal procedure (though more traditional)where I add oak at the end of the souring process.

Prime with 9.44oz dextrose for 4.25 volumes CO2

Apr 30, 2014

Floyd the Barber / Aero Zeppelin

Floyd the Barber IPA

1.051 - 1.006
50 IBU
5.9% ABV

Aero Zeppelin Saison

1.051 - 1.003 
50 IBU
6.3% ABV

The Malts:

14 lbs Marris Otter
4 lbs Flaked Wheat
1 lb 60L Crystal
1 lb 30L Crystal

The Hops:

1.5 oz Mosaic (11.6% AA) - 60 min
1 oz Mosaic - 15 min
1 oz Mosaic - 10 min
1 oz Mosaic - 5 min
1 oz Mosaic - 0 min

2 oz Mosaic (each fermenter) dry hop - 7 days


Thames Valley Slurry from New Brewery Pale Ale -- Floyd the Barber
French Saison -- Aero Zeppelin


20 lbs of grain = 6.66 gallons strike water (1gallon per 3 pounds)

Brewday notes and reflections:
mashing at 153°. It took a little while to get up to temp because I believe there is a clog somewhere under the false bottom. Things may go slowly today.

Clogging was a false alarm. 
Issue was air leaking into the connections of the HLT heat exchanger. Get in the habit of tightening this each time.
Original gravity 1.0051.


Floyd: 5.11.14 -- 1.014; beautiful mosaic aroma. Need to dry hop soon to have 7-10 days before leaving town.
5.12.14 -- Dry hopped with 2oz Mosaic
5.19.14 -- Seven days of dry hopping: Nice fruity hop aroma, but I would like a little more intensity, especially since this beer finished a little lower than I expected. I think I am going to let it sit for a couple more days. Super tasty with tons of fruity hop flavor, and a nice bitter finish. Also backed up quite well with grain.

5.12.14: 1.026 - not as low as i thought it might be. Esters, Phenols, and hop aroma are all quite nice already. This beer may not get dry-hopped, depending on schedule.
5.18.14 - Gravity 1.003
5.20.14 -- kegged

Mar 22, 2014

New Brewery Pale Ale

Drunkenness is Loyalty, Sobriety is Treason

New Brewery Pale Ale

1.050 - 1.010

42 IBU

5.25% ABV

This is the first beer brewed on my new electric HERMS system. The idea is to make something simple that may need adjustment at the end. I will not calculate hop additions until I know the gravity of the wort, but will aim for something close to 1:1 BU:GU. This is loosely based on Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale, with obvious changes (flaked wheat, etc.).

The Malts:

16# Marris Otter
2# Flaked Wheat
.5# Crystal 60L
.33# Chocolate Wheat

The Hops

Will calculate after mashing.
Goal is for around .80 BU:GU

1 oz Magnum (11.5% AA) -- 60 Minutes
1 oz East KEnt Goldings (7.2% AA) -- 30 Minutes
1 oz Eat Kent Goldings (7.2% AA) - 15 minutes
.84 BU:GU


Strike water should be 6.25 gallons (manufacturer recommends 1 gallon per 3 lbs of grain)
Sparge until there are 14 gallons in boil kettle

Notes and Reflections:

Mashing at around 158 I had the temperature set to 156 differential seems to be about 2° so I turned it down to 155

Gravity during mash out near 1.084.

Increase to mash out is quite slow probably due to the similarities in temperature between the match out and the hot liquor tank. Raised the temperature in the hot liquor tank from 170° to 175°.

Pre-boil gravity 1.040.
 Final gravity 1.050.

I need to remember drinking a lot of beer while brewing (especially the first time using a new system is a terrible idea. The secret beer game was a fun one, but i was kinda distracted at the end of the brew which made it a little less enjoyable than it normally would have been. There were plenty of distractions at the time, and I may not have dealt with them well. I had to weigh my remaining hops this morning to be sure I did not forget the 15 minute addition.

4.4.14 -- Checked gravity today (around 1.013), but the biggest note is the harsh bitter aftertaste that I hope will fade. Though fermentation is complete, I still consider this beer to be young, so perhaps. I also wonder if there is a chance I made an error in calculating IBUs.
4.14.14 -- Kegged the first bucket (gravity 1.010). The harsh bitter aftertaste has disappeared, though there is still plenty bitter in the finish. This will be good cool and carbonated.

12.21.14 -- Drank the last of this the other day. I want to improve on this recipe and give it another go. Instead of the 1275, I think I will stick with S-04 or trying something different (maybe 1968). I will lover the IBUS to closer to 35, perhaps lower if I decrease the O.G.

Feb 15, 2014

Estimated Prophet

Fire Wheel Burning in the air

Estimated Prophet
West Coast Pale Ale
1.051 - 1.006
5.8% ABV
44 IBU

I'll call down thunder and speak the same
17# American 2-row
2# 60L Crystal
2# Flaked Wheat

My word fills the sky with flame
1oz Cluster (6.8% AA) - 60 minutes
1oz Columbus (16.4% AA) 15 minutes
1oz Cascade (8.9% AA) - 10 minutes
1oz Columbus (16.4% AA) - 5 minutes
1oz Cascade (7.5% AA) - 5 minutes
1oz Columbus (16.4% AA) - 0 minutes
1oz Cascade (7.5% AA) - 0 minutes

Might and glory gonna be my name
US-05 Slurry from Keller XP

Men gonna light my way
8 gallons strike water
2.6 absorbed
at least 8.6 gallons sparge water
Total water needed - at least 16.6 gallons


Mash begins 7:45 AM
Mash temperature 154°
Had to add some boiling water at the beginning of the mash to bring it up to temperature. Closer to 9 gallons went into the mashed instead of eight.
First runnings 1.065. About 6 1/2 gallons.
Final gravity 1.051.
All done cleaning up 1:45 PM

3.8.14- racked one bucket into the cask and primed at 3.4 volumes of CO2. Flavor was very good, though strong for a cask beer. Mash temp at little lower than I wanted, and S-05 is a bit more attenuative (even more so than I thought).